I met Jen initially online, and then in person at an event where she was advocating for breast cancer awareness. Jen was speaking to educate young women of the importance of checking their breasts on a monthly basis. Early detection of breast cancer can mean that it is curable. Even though Jen's cancer had already spread, this didn't stop her from wanting more for others! This is the kind of person that Jen is.
Here is a little of Jen's story. She was first diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, just before her 32nd birthday, in October 2010.
She fought a hard battle, during which she endured a mastectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy, followed by 15 rounds of radiotherapy. Her doctors prescribed a further five years of tamoxifen, and she underwent a reconstruction in November of 2011.
After treatment, Jen made the most of every second and, 5 years on, her mood was celebratory.
In July 2018, during a regular appointment with her oncologist, Jen was about to be signed off when she mentioned that she had noticed an area of her mastectomy scar that felt lumpy. As a result of her self advocacy, her doctor arranged an ultrasound for the following week.
After the ultrasound, and an immediate biopsy, Jen was hit with the devastating news that her cancer had returned and spread to her spine, ribs and both lungs.
She was now fighting Stage IV cancer - which is incurable, but manageable with the right treatment.
Once again, Jen chose to focus on the positives and increased her involvement in supporting women with stage IV cancer through support groups, fundraising and charity projects.
Despite continuing her fight and remaining indomitable throughout - even when the Pandemic impacted on her treatment and led to cancelled appointments - Jen has recently received the news that her liver function is deteriorating, and any further prescribed treatment will be ineffective if the liver function does not improve.
Jen has been such a great friend to me and countless others in the cancer community. She has advocated on our behalf with positivity, fortitude and hope.
Dinah and I strongly believe that she should not have to bear the additional burden of financial worry, on top of her daily battle with pain, and the severe discomfort from the side effects of treatment.
Many of us don’t realise the hidden costs that are associated with a cancer diagnosis. I am talking about things like:
- Transport to a central London hospital up to five times a week
- The cost of additional private health care, essential equipment and drugs - as not all treatment options are available through the NHS
- Conventional and complementary therapies to help manage cancer symptoms, the nasty side effects of chemotherapy and disease progression
- The additional costs of a high quality diet, to support the body to heal
For many years, Jen has used her heart and voice to make a positive difference in this world. Please help to support her now, when she is in need, so that she and her family can concentrate on doing everything in their power to allow her to continue living the life she absolutely deserves to live.
Thank you very much for taking the time read this and please remember that no donation is too small.
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